It's snowing outside, and has been all day long. It's absolutely beautiful. And as cold as I get now that I'm older, I've totally enjoyed the cold of today; it's been such a pleasure seeing God's creativity at work, and watching him sugarsprinkle the trees like a gingerbread house. :)
Driving home, I got it into my head that today might be the day to try something I've never made before ~ rice pudding. So as soon as I got settled in the kitchen, I ran right on over to 17andbaking's latest recipe, Vanilla Bean Jasmine Rice Pudding. Not to be taken as made with jasmine rice, her recipe actually uses basmati, and the jasmine comes from jasmine green tea. I'm not a hot tea drinker, but the wheels were a'turnin...and I came up with my own variation of rice pudding. I was not disappointed. Warm in my favorite ramekin, it really hit the spot, the perfect amount of creamy sweetness.
Lemongrass-infused Coconut Rice Pudding
3/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
a little over half the can filled with 2% milk
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom part only, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour coconut milk and 2% milk into a small saucepan, and add lemongrass pieces. Heat on medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until simmering. Remove from heat and let steep, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the rice, water, and salt in a heavy saucepan (I used my dutch oven) and heat on medium high heat til simmering; reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
Strain lemongrass-infused milk mixture into a large measuring cup; add half & half and vanilla, and stir a few times. Discard lemongrass chunks.
Remove cover from rice, and pour in the milk mixture, stirring constantly; add sugar, stirring until well blended. Increase heat to medium and heat until simmering; simmer for approximately 30 minutes until thickened; stir frequently to prevent sticking. If bubbling gets vigorous, turn the heat down a bit.
Divide evenly between 6 (full) ramekins or 8 (approx. 1/2 full) ramekins. Enjoy warm, or cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the rice pudding, and chill until cold.
I prefer it warm, which is surprising because I'm such a cold dessert person. Reheating in the microwave works well too. :)
I'm really loving this recipe. It's going to be my go-to rice pudding recipe. Thanking Elise for the wonderful base recipe to experiment with.